Before you take a trip to New York, make sure you understand the basics: Which airport will you land in? What’s the best way to get from the airport to the city? How can you stay safe as you explore?
How You’ll Begin Your Visit New York City from the Nordics
If you fly to New York on SAS, you won’t land in New York. You’ll land in New Jersey, the neighboring state. You’ll be in Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport. And the good news is, you’ll be only 24km from the heart of New York City.
EWR are the initials for Newark Liberty Airport. Your luggage will be tagged with these letters. (We thought we’d mention it, because it’s a bit confusing!) The two other major airports in the New York City area are JFK Airport and LaGuardia Airport, both in New York City. According to the Newark Airport website:
“In 2017, EWR was the fifteenth busiest airport in the United States, serving 43,393,499 passengers. JFK Airport handled 59.3 million of travelers and LaGuardia airport 29.7 million passengers.”
If you’ve got a connecting flight, you can travel between terminals using the AirTrain. It’s free and arrives about every three minutes.
What Exactly is New York City Anyway?
New York City is comprised of five boroughs. These include Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.
If you are a tourist, Manhattan is the borough where you are most likely headed. Here you will find famous attractions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Empire State Building. Manhattan is carved into many different neighborhoods, each with its own unique character:
- There is the Financial District, home to Wall Street.
- The West Village, a yuppie haven dappled with coffee shops.
- Midtown, where the famous ball drops in Times Square every New Year’s Eve at midnight.
- Central Park runs between the trendy Upper West Side and the rarefied Upper East Side.
- Then there is Harlem, African American cultural center and historical haven to jazz and blues legends, poets and artists of all types.
These are just a few of the distinct areas to visit. The best way to get a handle on New York City in all its glory is to consult an excellent set of maps like these from NYCMap360.
You can get into Manhattan by a variety of transport: public bus, private shuttle bus, via a ride app such as Uber, Lyft, or RideGuru, or by taxi. Note: Don’t get into an unmarked taxi. All legitimate cabs have an ID number on the hood. The most popular fleet of New York City cabs are yellow. (Cab and taxi mean the same thing.)
You can also take the Northeast Corridor train direct to Penn Station in Manhattan.
Back in 1990, New York had a record 2,262 homicides. With such a scary record, anyone contemplating a visit to the “murder capital” of the US might instead choose to hide in a closet. Fortunately, since then, violent crimes have plummeted.
By 2016, there were 101 murders on record. With more than 8.6 million residents, New York is considered one of the safest big cities in the US.
That said, any tourist can be a target for soft crimes like pickpockets or con artists. Take common-sense measures, such as sticking to well-lit streets after dark, or wearing a purse across your body and not over one shoulder.
These precautions aside, Trivago magazine points out some uniquely New York things to watch out for:
1. In Times Square there are Disney and superhero characters who will ask you for “tips.” If you take a photo, the characters may demand that you pay up. So plan your strategy ahead of time to avoid toddler meltdowns.
2. Like in any city, there are certain neighborhoods to avoid after sundown. These are not typical tourist spots anyway. They include Alphabet City, the Lower East Side, Hell’s Kitchen, Brownsville and Hunts Point.
Where Should You Go When You Visit New York City?
Enjoy your visit to New York City. For exciting adventures to plan on your stay, check out Helena Gunnars post on the Best Places to take Pictures in NYC here on Travel Wallet™ Journeys.